SBVC Alum Micah TasakaMicah Tasaka didn’t realize until several days before Commencement that she would be the only student graduating May 27 with a 4.0 GPA. She wasn't there because of previous plans to attend a concert in Seattle. But Micah, 21, is still proud of her accomplishment.

“It wasn’t really my goal,” said Micah, who earned an Associates Degree in English. “It kind of just happened.”

Micah lives in Colton with her parents, Peter and Deborah, and sisters Bethany 23, and Danielle, 17.
She graduated from Bloomington Christian High School in 2008 and was salutatorian of her senior class but said she didn’t earn perfect grades growing up.

Her parents have always been very supportive of her workload at SBVC. “If I went to them and said it’s too much, they would tell me to lessen my hours at work or help me if I needed money,” she said.
Most semesters, Micah would take 12 units. One semester, in fall 2009, she pushed herself and took 13 to 14 units. She also took five Honors classes in English, Biology, Sociology, Religion and Child Development, from fall 2009 to spring 2011.

Micah said she realized she had to set some limits. “There were a couple of English classes in there that I wasn’t sure I was going to keep up,” she said.

Micah, who wants to be a writer, had one assignment that really challenged her in her Honors English class. She wrote an essay on equality in marriage. Micah got a B. “Up until that professor, I was used to getting A’s,” she said.

No matter the challenges, Micah said she likes school, even if she gets stressed. When she does, she knows who to turn to. “I go to friends or family,” she said.

Along with school, Micah works 20 to 25 hours a week as a cashier in customer service at Target in Redlands.

Students maintaining a 4.0 GPA may face stressors in life such as caring for children or parents, said Dr. Ailsa Aguilar-Kitibutr, Faculty Chair of SBVC’s Counseling Department.

They also may put personal pressure on themselves to achieve, she said, and they need to manage their time so they can complete their work.

“I’ve never met a student who says it’s easy,” said Aguilar-Kitibutr.

Micah has enrolled at the University of California, Riverside, to start on her Bachelor’s Degree. After that, she wants to earn a Masters of Fine Art in creative writing.

She won an Honorable Mention for her poem, “Do Not With Ease Give Way,’’ which was was published in Phineas, SBVC’s literary magazine.

“One of my main goals is to publish my own book of poetry,” said Micah.